• Mathura Hawley

memorial

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


So today, in the rainy fog of the morning, I could see ghosts everywhere. They brushed past me, pulled me into doorways, whispered hurtful words in my ears, and crushed their heavy weight over and over into my chest. "

It was raining, but Luke pulled me in the direction of the park, so I followed, ignoring the cool drops on my face and bare legs. We passed the bar where Om and I got engaged, across the traffic circle where I helped move him the first week we met, and into the park where he and Luke ran each morning while I was at the gym. This first long weekend of the summer was when we would open the cabin each year, with extra time together to plant flowers, take walks or create a bonfire kirtan. Last year on this day, just months after he left so abruptly, he appeared on the neighbors’ backyard balcony with another man, waving down to me, then coming over to tell me all about his wonderful new best friend and how nice all the men he had been meeting sexually had been to him throughout his breakdown. I stood, listening in disbelief, tears streaming down my face, while he went on to describe his new life as if ours had never existed, my pain never acknowledged. So today, in the rainy fog of the morning, I could see ghosts everywhere. They brushed past me, pulled me into doorways, whispered hurtful words in my ears, and crushed their heavy weight over and over into my chest. Luke led me to the park lake and sprawled out on the stones near the water. I sat down next to him and began to cry, surprised I was feeling this deeply sad and unable to control my tears. Luke looked up to let me know he understood that I was hurting. A woman walking her dog passed me, then paused, then turned and came back. “Are you OK?” she asked. “Yeah, I’ll be OK,” I answered, not bothering to cover my face, “but thank you.” She smiled, and it was kind with knowing, then she walked away. I wiped my cheeks with the sleeve of my jacket and pulled Luke closer. I know the past is gone and the future is coming. But I also know that this is how it works: For your spirit to be free, you have to tell the truth. For your heart to heal, you have to leave it open. And if that means tears in the rain, then so be it. Even if to everyone else, it is just another day.


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